Palazzo Pontificio
Palazzo Pontificio
4
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles212 reviews
Excellent
97
Very good
67
Average
27
Poor
9
Terrible
12

Venus234
32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Me and my family of 4 adults made a day trip to Castel Gandolfo from Rome via train. It is a less than one hour journey, but with multiple stops on the way, as its not a high speed train. It stops at 5 to 6 small towns before reaching Castel Gondolfo.

ONE SURPRISE we were met with upon reaching our destination was the lack of any sort of transportation to take us from the train station to the Pontifical Villas or the Palazzo Pontificio. We, as all others who disembarked the train, had to walk our way to the Palace (you may call in Pontifical Villas or the Palazzo that lies at its entrance. It is the centre of the town and the main tourist spot in Castel Gandolfo basically) which was located on a hill.

Now, there are two routes that take you to the Palace. You can take the first route by simply walking up the slightly steep road that the train station is located on. As you start for the Palace, you will determine the correct direction by making sure that the Albano Lake is on your right hand side and the hill on your left hand side. This road goes straight until it bends in a U-turn and takes you to the Palace.

The second route, is a much steeper short cut. It appears on your left hand side less than a km from the train station. It is a steep, zigzag, cobbled hill track that alternates with the seemingly longer road route to the Palace. The hill track is the one we took. This route has both positive and negative sides to it. The only plus point I can imagine is that by virtue of being a hill track, it is covered with trees and we walked the entire time in a cool shade and were saved from the scorching July sun. The negative point is that the track was way too steep. This angle was unexpected and uncalled for so it was a bit annoying. We had to stop 6 to 7 times to catch our breath and I doubt if the hill track even proved to be a short cut.. The only good thing was the shade of tree. So i suggest if the sun is not too bright and its not so hot, you should take the road rather than the hill track.
Written November 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kate08
ireland238 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
I enjoyed our visit and found the audio guide very good. The history of each Pope was informative and interesting. We got to visit the living quarters and the views of the lake were stunning. I thought it was a nice relaxed way to spend some time away from Rome. The town is nice and we did some shopping and had a lovely lunch before getting the train back to Rome.
Written December 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jack H
Bonita Springs, FL371 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
This was an amazing place to visit. Such a quaint little village with so much history. And the Lake was just beatifull.
Written November 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sharkymarky66
Paris, France176 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019 • Family
We came to Castel Gandolfo as part of a wider tour of the Castelli Romani.
This is a picturesque little town dominated by the Papal Palace with fabulous views of Lake Albano below.
We arrived too late to visit the palace and the gardens so we’ll have to come back another time...
Written August 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aphrab
hickory, nc428 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
A terrific bore, this site contains the usual trinket shops filled with Catholic kitsch. Outdoor restaurants were more appealing. Not historically or scenically engaging.
Written October 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Madalyn H
Huddersfield, UK1,902 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
A great opportunity to visit this historic palace. The ground floor is devoted to papal history, assisted by an audio tour. The first floor is the palace as used by former popes - interesting - but would benefit from more information being available in individual rooms, regarding their history and use
Written October 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary F
Nashville, TN281 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
The tour of the papal summer vacation palace provides a thorough history of the church and its leaders over many hundreds of years. The audio guide, available in English, provides extensive discussion about many of the displays which follow the transition of popes over time. The building itself is also very ornate and interesting to view. The tour includes a small group visit to the upstairs rooms where the popes stayed. Buy tickets for both the palace and the gardens and you will get a discounted rate. We were here in early June so it was not yet too crowded, but be aware that capacity is limited for the hourly garden tours, so you may want to reserve a time in advance for that.
Written June 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Buoyant130
Melbourne, Australia83 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
Our trip through the palace consisted of a walk through a lovely open courtyard where one could see some of the Pope’s Pope mobiles, before heading into a gallery showing portraits of numerous Popes. There is an audio guide that provides an interesting short bio of the of most of the portraits. Though there is some 30 odd audio stops, it’s well worth persevering with it as it’s done in quite an informative way. However we hadn’t even finished the portrait gallery than we were quickly ushered into a tour of the Pope’s private rooms. Austere as they were, they were very interesting, albeit the experience was tarnished by the expediency at which our guide rushed us through it all. He did provide some information in Italian and English but did it all in such a hurry that one imagined he may have left something burning on the stove, such was the pace that he undertook the tour. It was a disappointment. After that it was back to the portrait gallery to finish off what we’d left. Also note that you should check the opening times of the palace prior to your visit, as for the time we were there it closed at 13:30.

The next day we visited the gardens of the Pope’s Palace. These were huge. Tens and tens of beautifully manicured gardens and probably one of the finest gardens I’ve ever seen. A feast for the eyes, with shaded pathways, old Roman ruins and groves of trees. Stunning. You’d struggle to see it all in a day. Only there was one problem, you couldn’t walk through it. The tour consisted of a 50 minute bus ride with no opportunities to get out. Though once again we were provided with a very interesting audio guide the tour again was done in such a rush that you came out at the end of it totally frustrated. Yes it was beautiful but it was all whisked before your eyes before you could appreciate it. Photo stops were few and far between as the bus was mostly on the move. The bus did have open windows, ie no glass, but if the bus was largely full, more often than not you’d only see what was on your side. And though I appreciate one should look before one photos, too often you had to juggle between holding and listening to the audio guide or taking a photo. Not ideal. And at Euro16 p.p., it was an expensive 50 min tour ride. I am not sure as to the reasoning why people are not allowed to walk through the gardens but I have been to many a guide of a similar large scale where issues of safety, people management etc have been dealt with to allow pedestrian visits. I didn’t see any reason why this couldn’t be done here.

In hindsight I’m glad I came as Castel Gandolfo, and it’s surrounds are very pleasant but the Palace and its gardens left a very disappointing and frustrating feeling.
Written June 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David W
Slinfold, UK505 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Friends
Well organised and it provides you with the history of the Roman Catholic Church. There are pictures of all the recent popes with descriptions and it takes you through your life.
Written January 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

denver60
Denver, CO1,616 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Friends
We toured Castel Gandolfo, the summer Papal residence. We took the train from Rome to the Castel Gandolfo railway station and then walked to the Apostolic Palace which overlooks Piazza della Libertà. The town itself is lovely and the Papal Palace - with astronomical observatory attached - is filled with beautiful art and furnishings.
Written April 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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